Removing parents from the equation might make some think college is something of a Wild West, devoid of rule and law governing personal behavior.
Instead, Tech devotes many resources to the enforcement of students' rights and responsibilities. Students involved in alcohol abuse, drug use, sexual misconduct, hazing and other illegal behavior can find themselves facing sanctions ranging from formal warnings to expulsion.
Students observed violating university policy can have a judicial referral filed against them by any student, non-student, or faculty member, though these are usually filed by authority figures like police officers and resident advisors. A judicial referral will result in a hearing organized by the Office of Judicial Affairs, to determine if the policy was violated as well as the appropriate sanctions. In certain cases, students could be suspended or permanently dismissed from the university.
There are several sanctions the university can impose on a student found guilty of breaking university policy. Formal warnings do not prohibit students from participating in university activities but can lead to more serious disciplinary action for further violations. Restitution requires a student to pay for damages made monetarily or through community service. Privileges such as on-campus housing and access to computer network access can be removed as a sanction.
Students who are suspended from the university must go through a readmission meeting after a specified period of time, often one or two semesters. These students cannot enroll in classes or transfer credits taken at another university during the suspension period.
The most serious university sanction is dismissal or permanent separation from the university.
It will surprise few that incidents involving alcohol constitute the highest percentage of judicial hearings. The university has a three-strikes policy concerning alcohol with two categories of offense. Minor offenses count as one strike and include underage possession of alcohol and drinking in public. Major offenses count as two strikes and are charged when a student has allegedly put himself or someone else in danger through drinking. Students who make themselves sick or have to be hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, have commited major violations.
Students receiving a first strike are put on probation and have to take a class on alcohol abuse. Students receiving a second strike will be put on deferred suspension and must take another class. Students facing their third strike will be suspended.